Saturday, 16 January 2016

Lessons I learned from Taekwondo Part 5

5. Don't play the blaming game

There are times during the tournaments when the result is a draw.How do we determine the winner then? Back then,when I was still practising tkd, the more aggressive player will emerge as the winner. There will always be some happiness here and there, hearing comments like "so-so should be the winner" or "the referees are really unfair" etc.

Well the world is never fair. Or actually, fairness exists , just that due to our ignorance, everything seems unfair to us. But to be more accurate, humans have no rights to talk about fairness with God.

Fair or unfair aside, I thought we should always place our locus of control internally and stop playing the blaming game. In the example of the tkd tournament cited above, both players should be able to gain something if they seriously reflect on their performance.

For the winner, perhaps winning the medal is a close shave, a bonus, but more importantly the win should be a strong motivation factor for him to work even harder so that he is able to win a clear win in future, leading by a few points and not a draw,without any controversies.

For the player who lost, he gained a valuable experience too. And instead of wasting time blaming the referees, he should seriously work on improving his weaknesses, because if he's really that good, he should not only win with a draw.

People like to play the blaming game. When things do not work out, we're really eager to push the blame to someone else, whether in school, at work, or even in our own family. I'm sorry to say but I do love blaming my husband at times, for example if we forget some important things after we went out. I got frustrated at him for being forgetful but neglect the fact that I can do my part for reminding him too.

At work, when problems arise, we point our fingers everywhere but never at ourselves. "I did not meet the deadline because so and so......" or "I can't do this because I don't know how to...." etc. And the leader finally emerges when there is finally someone who is willing to bear the responsibility and work on a solution instead of going round in circles.

My pupils are always eager to know who will be their oral examiners, who set or who marked their papers. When they got back their exam scripts, they'll lament that they fared so badly because the paper was too difficult.When something happens in class, I don't remember having anyone apologise to me because they think it's their fault. They will always throw out a few names, but certainly not their own.

I try to make them understand that as long as they do their part well and are well prepared, it doesn't matter who is their examiner,they'll still perform well. Is the paper really too difficult or are they not up to standard, they have to reflect.Their classmates may be fooling around but it doesn't mean they have to join in the crowd, instead they should help by telling them to stop fooling around and wait quietly for the teacher. It really takes 2 hands to clap.

On a larger scale, we blame our education system for putting so much stress on our children. We blame the system for stripping our children of their creativity. True, there is much room for improvement. Sometimes, I think so hard for a solution but I really have no answer. Either I work my way up to the top and revamp the whole system, which I definitely lack capability and time or I can choose to do my part well, which is certainly easier and much more within my control.

As a mother and a teacher, I can do my part well to inculcate in my children and pupils the right values. My emphasis is never on results but effort. Their goals are not A* or A, they just need to aim to be better than who they are yesterday.

Stress is everywhere, it all depends on how we manage it and where do we place our priorities. Do we really want to join the rat race, we do have a choice. At the end of the day, the winner of the rat race is still a rat, it's pretty sad. So I may not be able to influence the world, but I can certainly influence my children, my pupils or just about anyone around me.

And then we blame our government and forgets to be thankful for what we have. We are leading such good lives that we stop being appreciative. Instead, we want more and more to fill up our bottomless pit. Don't tell me there are so many poor Singaporeans which the government aren't helping, don't complain about people snatching our jobs. Ask yourself if you have done anything else besides complaining. Have you done anything to help those people? Have you ever been grateful for the Singapore that we have today? I remind myself not to add on to the problems by complaining and creates negativity around me.

Be thankful. Don't start to appreciate people or things only when they're gone. Regret is really tough to live with.

Always reflect on yourself because self-reflection leads to self-awareness which leads to self-transformation.

Do have a quiet time with yourself.

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